are you afraid of the dark?

I hate coming home to a dark house. Even if I had locked all the doors before I last left, there is always this fear of the unknown, of what (or who) could be hiding in the dark. Even though I have never dealt with an intruder in my life, the idea of it still scares me. I’d much rather pay a little extra in electricity and leave a light on so that I can come home to a cozy, comforting house than opening the front door and darting through the living room to click on lamps while shivers run up my arms.

However, even though I hate walking through the dark physically, I think that sometimes I have a tendency to cling to the dark spiritually.

John 3:20-21 – “For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever doe what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

Darkness provides secrecy. There’s lots of room to hide out and to smuggle things you don’t want others to see. Remember that feeling of playing hide-and-go-seek in the dark? There’s this thrill and fear and anxiousness all jumbled together as you sprint through the yard, running freely in the open since no one can see you, but still knowing that you need to find somewhere to conceal yourself.

My sin is like that. If I am not in prayer or in constant communion with the Lord, there is this false freedom that I can do whatever I want, as long as I can get it hidden before  He finishes counting to thirty and comes looking for me. I can stash my pride and my selfishness in deep corners where surely He cannot find them.

The thing about playing hide-and-go-seek in the dark, though, is that there is always this dread of being caught. Even if you have the best hiding spot there is, your heart is rhythmically pounding down in your stomach as you anticipate what will happen when you get caught. I always feel like it will be the worst thing in the world to be discovered, and even though it is exhilarating to play games in the dark, it is also stressful. Maybe that’s my competitive nature, but I think that any games played in the dark are automatically more intense than games played in the light.

And I know that, when I am living in sin, I am living with that dread of being caught. Of having a flashlight shine on me in the midst of the darkness, exposing the muck of my soul. How much more at rest could I be if I were living in the light? If I, up front, exposed my brokenness and confessed it right off the bat? I might still be living with it, fighting my flesh to walk in the Spirit, but I wouldn’t have to worry about being caught and getting in trouble. I would have peace knowing that God was aware of my sin and could walk in confidence of His love despite His knowledge of my imperfection.

As fun as hide-and-go-seek in the dark is, that’s not how I want to live my life. I want to walk in the light and be real with God. Because He doesn’t need a flashlight to see me in the dark anyway. (cue DC Talk’s “In the Light” for cheesy, thought-provoking music, ‘cause I sure hope it came to mind any way)

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